There is a very solid reason why Apple devices are in vogue ! They are so run-after and each iDevice has its own fan-following. Very deservedly, Apple tops the list of UK’s most desired brands for the 9th year in a row. You name an Apple device and it’s already faddish! Be it the Apple TV, the AirPods or the exclusive AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max, the Headphones and one of my most favourite, the Apple Watch. Each one of them has built a vigorous crowd and has never disappointed the users.
I owned the AirPods for about a year and I recently switched to the super cool AirPods Pro. They look cuter with my initials engraved on them. I can bear testimony for the fact that the experience of listening to music on the AirPods, be it any model, is unbeatable. The quality of music is so subversive that it makes me feel like I’m enjoying music straight at a concert.
The AirPods specifically, are more widely loved than any other Apple device as they are so light-weight, very easy to connect and portable. I won’t lie but yes, I wear AirPods almost all the time and I have been warned up against this addiction.
No doubt, the AirPods are multi-taskers. You can listen to music, podcasts on them , attend calls, use them for gaming, connect two pairs to your Mac at once and what not !! Given my infatuation with the AirPods, I had begun wearing AirPods to sleep. Indeed, they made me cosier and more comfortable for snoozing down but then, my ears were sore and felt hurt the next day. If you are also obsessed with the AirPods like me, be mindfully prepared for the upcoming heart-aches. The AirPods begin to muffle and pause intermittently if they are used extravagantly. They are often deprived of a full-charge this way which affects their battery life and they begin to die fast.
The only time when they are detached from me is when I shower because they are not waterproof. Yes, the super smart AirPods do have a limitation and that is they cannot afford to enjoy the hot shower with you.
I learnt it the hard way when I sleep-walked to take shower and I forgot to plug them out. By the time I realised, it was too late and they were already coated with my body wash. Hastily, I dried them out, kept them away for one day, reset them but nothing worked. They were totally hung-over and failed to respond even a bit.
Luckily, they were covered under the AppleCare+ warranty and I could get an exchange.
That’s when I decided to share this avoidable experience with my fellow AirPods owners so that you consciously take the AirPods out from your ears before you get into the shower or plan to enjoy the cloudbursts because you’ll be paying for every bit of it later and it will be heavy on the pocket if your AppleCare+ warranty has lapsed.
So, if you ask me,”Can you shower with AirPods?”, the answer is a big NO !! No model of the AirPods can stand water-contact and will incur permanent damage. In this article, I will be revealing why can’t AirPods be worn in a shower and how can you dry them up if they have been wet, if there is still some scope of life on them.
Therefore, here onwards, be ready to major in about wearing AirPods during shower or rain and you’ll figure out the answer yourself.
Can You Shower With AirPods?
AirPods are truly fantastic when it comes to listening to music but wearing them to shower is certainly not a good idea. Most of the electronic devices don’t blend well with water. When water penetrates into any electronic device, there is a risk of frying out the circuit and damaging the device.
So, if you ask me,’can I wear AirPods in the shower?’, my answer would be a big NO !! Unless you want to break them ! The shampoo and water contact will destroy the AirPods and you’ll only be left with your expensive AirPods with a damaged speaker.
Due to the deep and prolonged water contact, the internal components of the AirPods will be ruined, damaging them completely. The shampoo’s bubbles and soapy water get stuck onto the fragile speaker grills of the earbuds which will block them, creating a muffled sound and the AirPods will either keep crackling or pausing even after they are dried out. Most likely, you will never be able to hear music on them again.
Each electronic device comes with an IP rating which is an indicator of the level of water protection on the device. The higher the IP rating is, more water-resistance on the device and vice-versa. Continue reading to learn in detail about what an IP indicator is and what IP rating your AirPods come with.
IP: Ingress Protection Marking ( IPX 0-9)
The level of liquid contact a device can bear is decided by the IP(Ingress Protection) Marking index. It ranges from 0 to 8 and the number after ‘X’ indicates the level of water protection of the device.
- IPX0 means that there is no level of protection on the device from a water contact.
- An IPX4 rating indicates that the device can fight off water ‘splashes’ from all the directions.
- an IPX8 rating is the mark of excellent water tolerance and the device can bear water contact as deep as 13 feet.
The 3rd Gen AirPods come with a rating of IPX4 which means it can bear water splashes from all directions but is not safe to be taken deep into the water.
Aren’t AirPods WaterProof?
No, not really ! As explained above, your AirPods have an IPX4 rating and are water and sweat resistant but not waterproof, at all. If you own the first or the second Gen AirPods, you must know that if you wear them during swimming or exercise heavily while wearing them, the humidity and the sweat can bruise the AirPods permanently.
However, the latest third Gen AirPods and the AirPods Pro are resistant to sweat and water, as per the IP rating but that takes ‘ a light accidental water contact( splashes) into consideration, not submerging them completely in water. Swimming, or showering or trying aquatic sports on them is not advised at all.
In Case Of A Light Water-Contact
A light water contact means a few drops of water were accidentally spilled over the AirPods, or you wore during a rainy walk. If such a water contact takes on your AirPods, there is no need to panic. Drying them out quickly might still save them as a short and quick contact with the water drops on the AirPods surface may not allow water to penetrate deeply inside the AirPods.
The AirPods can resist light water contact and low levels of moisture without being destroyed deeply. All you can do in this case is to put them aside for drying as soon as possible and let them dehydrate themselves completely for at least 24 hours.
In Case Of A Heavy Water Contact ( Fully Submerged)
On the other hand, if your AirPods were submerged deeply in water, even for a while, they are in trouble. Same stands true for the case when AirPods are held under running water perpetually.
The game is over if water gets into the AirPods or the Charging Case. Drying them off also might not be able to save them because deep water contact bruises the internal circuits of the AirPods and blocks the speaker grilles, making them lose entire functionality.
Timing is the key, in this case !! If you get the AirPods drenched completely but take them out of water really quickly, you can still hope for them but if you are halfway into the shower and then realise the presence of AirPods, there’s no point repenting because the damage is done. !
Any duration more than 10-15 seconds into the water is a complete catastrophe for the AirPods.
So, it is adequately clear now and I’ll stress again on the fact: “Do not take AirPods into the shower !!”
Can AirPods Pro Be Worn In The Shower?
Nope !! Not at all !! If you inquire,’Can I shower with AirPods Pro?’, the answer is the same NO as for the standard AirPods. Neither you can shower with your AirPods Pro nor swim wearing them.
The AirPods Pro have been tested under IEC Standard 60529 and come with a marking of IPX4. So, it is safe to say that your AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant but not Waterproof. No doubt, the AirPods Pro are far more advanced and better than the standard AirPods but no difference has been made by Apple on the water-resistivity front.
The AirPods Pro have been advertised as ‘water-resistant’ which means that they will still function if they get some water drops on them. It has never been showcased that you go diving deep with them, as suggested by the IPX4 marking.
You might feel tempted to wear them while washing your hair or taking a shower, but it’s a dangerous idea as the soap bubbles will clog the delicate speaker grills of your AirPods Pro and it’s impossible to clean them, then. You must consciously avoid using them in the shower, sauna/ steam room or expose them to running water.
It is also important to know that the AirPods Pro can be damaged if they are dropped from a height.
Apple has warned its users that the strength of water-resistivity on its devices reduces with time, as the AirPods/Pro keep ageing.
So, for your inquiry about, “can I shower with AirPods Pro?”I believe your doubts have been dispelled and you won’t take any chances with your expensive AirPods Pro, never taking them into the shower with you.
Can You Wear AirPods In The Rain?
As elucidated above, the kind of water-contact any AirPods can bear, depends on their IP rating. So, if you ask me whether can you wear AirPods in rain, I would say a Yes, but it depends !!
You can wear only the AirPods ( 3rd Gen) and the AirPods Pro, not the standard AirPods.
The AirPods ( 3rd Gen) and the AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating, which means they can be safely worn during soft drizzles, when the weather is misty and there are light rain drops but not when it’s a heavy downpour.
The standard 2nd Gen AirPods can not be worn even during soft sprinkles and are at best when kept away from water as much as possible.
Better to be safe than sorry, right ! So, it is advisable to avoid using AirPods during heavy rains, swimming or showering.
Now, before you decide to wear your AirPods/Pro during rain, you must be careful about the small electrostatic shock or zap you might get on them while it pours.
According to Apple, electrostatic shocks can occur commonly when the devices are used while they are even slightly wet. It happens due to built-up of static electricity and it happens more often when the Air is dry.
So, after all the squabbling, I would suggest that if you own the basic AirPods, keep them safe inside the Charging Case while it rains.
On the other hand, you can take the liberty to listen to music on your AirPods Pro and the AirPods (3rd Gen) if it’s soft spray outside. Do not wear them if it’s raining cats and dogs outside.
So, What You Must Avoid On Your Water-Resistant AirPods?
I hope it is sufficiently clear now that you cannot wear AirPods while you shower or if it’s raining heavily. However, as advised by Apple, there are a few more activities which should certainly be avoided on your AirPods, to save them from permanent damage caused by deep water immersion.
- Do not hold your AirPods under running water or a faucet.
- Avoid Swimming and water-sports with the AirPods ‘on’.
- Never let your AirPods go into the Washing Machine or the dryer.
- Never take your AirPods to the Steam/ Sauna Room.
- Also, never let your AirPods fall from a height.
So, briefly, keep the above mentioned aspects in mind while using your AirPods and they’ll be your companion for as long as possible.
Now, above mentioned are somewhat preventive measures as to what you must avoid while wearing AirPods and when to avoid wearing them.
What if you mistakenly wore them to the shower already or forgot to put them back in the Charging Case while you walked back home in the rain last night ?
Here onwards, you’ll learn about what you must do with your AirPods if they are wet and how they can be saved from further damage.
How To Dry AirPods That Are Wet After A Shower
Here, in this section, you’ll learn how to deal with the tough situation when your AirPods have gotten wet and whether you can still save them if they were totally submerged into water.
For drying out your moistened AirPods, here’s what you need to do :
1. Dry Out the AirPods Completely.
In the quest to dry the damp AirPods, timing plays an important role. You must take the AirPods out of water as soon as you can. A few splashes of water drops on the AirPods is still bearable, but if they have been deeply into water for even for more than a minute, drying them out completely will be arduous.
In order to dry the damp AirPods, follow these steps mentioned below word-by-word :
- Quickly grab a microfibre cloth and wipe the earbuds gently but completely.
- Now, wipe the Charging Case the same way, wiping the damp surface completely.
- Then, pick up both the earbuds and the Charging Case and keep them on the dry microfibre cloth in an upside-down position.
To be precise, the earbuds should ‘face downwards’ and the Charging Case should be kept open.
This way, the AirPods and the Charging Case will eject any remaining droplets of water from inside and will begin to dry.
You must wait for at least 5 hours before you test them. Wait for longer, at least 10 hours if the AirPods were captive into water for more than 15 seconds.
Bamboo Charcoal Packets For Drying The Airpods
Additionally, you can even place a few Bamboo Charcoal Packets for absorbing the moisture out of the Airpods. Generally, they are used at homes for removal of odours but they do a great job at absorbing the moisture too.
Although, they don’t make a really big impact but when the AirPods have dried out, they prove useful in sucking out any left traces of moisture from them.
2. Air Waves to Dislodge Water from Inside the AirPods.
Another feasible option to dry out the AirPods after a deep dive is to use Air Waves to evict water drops that got inside your AirPods. It’s the same technology that is used by Apple Watch to force out water droplets that got inside it.
Here’s how the Air Waves can be used to dislodge water from the inner parts of the AirPods:
- For this, the AirPods should be connected to your iPhone.
- Now, turn the volume to the lowest, without plugging them in your ears.
- Now, download the app ‘Siri Shortcuts’ on your iPhone.
- Now, take one AirPod and cover its sensor. Then, activate the ‘Water Eject’ shortcut.
- The AirPod will begin to vibrate and the water will start to come out bit by bit.
- Now, repeat the same process on the other AirPod and eject water from it.
You can repeat this process as many times you want till water stops showing up. It means that there is no water left trapped inside the Airpods. You can again leave them to rest for a while before you begin to test them.
The same process stands valid for the AirPods Pro as well. Water can be ejected from using this ‘Water Eject Technology’.
After you have dried the Airpods manually and also ejected water from the inner parts using the ‘Water Eject’ technology, if your AirPods still fail to respond, this is bad, then !! The only option left is to replace them.
Only if Apple could sense your pain and look into your puppy eyes !! I’m sure you would have convinced Apple to give you a new pair of Airpods for free but Ah !! World Not so kind, you know !!
You’ll have to get your AirPods replaced at the Apple Store and before you put up your case for a free replacement, you must know if they are still covered under warranty and does AppleCare+ even cover the water damage on the AirPods. Better go prepared, isn’t it !
Let your Airpods rest in peace now and read about the AppleCare+ policy for covering up the damages on the AirPods.
Does AppleCare+ Warranty Cover Water-Damage On The AirPods ?
Basically,AppleCare+ stands for ‘extended warranty’ on Apple Products. It is different from a regular warranty that comes on purchasing the Apple products and provides coverage for a wider variety of possible damages.
If you choose to opt for AppleCare+ warranty for your Apple product, an additional fee would be charged you’ll learn now that it’s worth every extra penny 1
Among the other potential internal damages like in case the AirPods muffle, no sound on the Airpods or if they keep pausing, AppleCare+ provides cover for ‘accidental damages’ such as a ‘heat damage’ or a ‘ water damage’.
The good news is that your AirPods can be replaced for once within one year of AppleCare+ warranty if they have incurred water damage. The bad news is if you choose to shower once again with your Airpods within that period of one year, you’ll be in a tight spot.
Clap your hands if the AirPods are still under the AppleCare+ warranty and it’s their ‘first time’ messing up with water but here’s the twist ! For replacing your drenched and damaged AirPods in exchange for a new pair, you’ll have to pay a $29 fee which is the Service Cost. But, that’s much better than spending a whole lot of $200 on a new set, isn’t it !!
Standard Apple Warranty For Apple Products
The basic Apple Warranty which comes along at the time of purchasing an Apple product does not cover any water damage or heat damage on the AirPods. It only covers basic faults like if the Charging Case was broken or doesn’t charge.
You know yourself really better and the way you handle your devices. So, if you feel you might find your AirPods among such damages in future, you must opt for AppleCare+ warranty for your Airpods.
While you splurge on a brand new pair of AirPods, paying an additional fee of $29 won’t burn your heart, rather it will save you from the extra repair costs in the future.
Getting A New Pair Of AirPods
If your AirPods could not survive the water damage and you don’t even have the AppleCare+ warranty, there’s no choice left than buying a new pair of AirPods.
I know, it hurts !! One unlucky day when my AirPods were dead and lost in the laundry, with heavy steps, I had to purchase a new pair of AirPods because I was a fool to overestimate myself and considered paying $29 useless. I was very sure that I wouldn’t need the AppleCare+ warranty but I regretted every bit of it when I had to spend the precious $200 for a fresh new pair. Oh, that lesson was learned the hard way !!
When I purchased a new pair of Airpods, I was determined to cover my AirPods under the AppleCare+ warranty.
Make up your mind now and get ready to gift yourself a brand new pair of AirPods. The new Apple AirPods 3rd Gen, launched in Oct 2021 are a good deal and are available at an affordable price of $179. These new pairs of AirPods perform as good as AirPods Pro when it comes to Noise Cancellation but yes, are significantly better with improved audio and bass.
You can make this new buy look even more incredible by getting it engraved without any additional fee. Yes, Apple engraves the AirPods totally free of cost at the time of their purchase.
So, this is what Apple has in store for you when it comes to replacing the water-damaged AirPods. I pray that drying out using the ‘Water Eject’ technique worked for you and you were smart enough to have the AppleCare+ warranty for your precious pair but if none of the possible options set your AirPods straight, you’ll have to buy a new pair. Feel free to check out the deal I have linked above and don’t forget to add on the AppleCare+ warranty on your new pair of AirPods.
Now, after all is said and done, before I sign ‘off’, I would love to offer some advice regarding the preventive measure to avoid such unfortunate and unforeseen incidents in future. Small steps of carefulness go a long way in protecting the AirPods from the dire circumstances and save you from the stress.
Preventive Measures To Protect AirPods From Water Damage
Below mentioned are some useful preventive measures which you must adopt as a habit if you want to save your AirPods from such hapless times which might cost you a fortune. Be mindful about them while you use AirPods in regular humdrum tasks and then, you won’t have to consciously make an effort to care about your AirPods since they will always be well-kept on a regular basis.
1. First and Foremost, Never Wear AirPods while you Shower.
I don’t think I need to stress any further on this ! After you have been enlightened about the potential dangers of wearing AirPods to a shower, I’m sure you won’t commit this sin ever. There are a very few chances for your AirPods to survive after the shower, as you have learnt above.
So, be mindful while you get ready to bathe and remove them consciously before you step in for a shower.
2. Never Leave your AirPods on Wet Surfaces.
Be careful about leaving the AirPods on a surface if the Charging Case isn’t nearby and the AirPods lie loosely on a table or in your bag.
In an ideal case, the AirPods should always be kept back in the Charging Case when not in use but if you are keeping them on a table, on your nightstand or in your bag, please ensure that it’s not wet.
The surface has to be completely dry otherwise you’ll keep wondering why are the AirPods wet when you didn’t even shower with them.
3. Keep the AirPods Safely into the Charging Case when it begins to Pour.
Before you sneak out for a hot coffee when it begins to rain, pause for two precious seconds and keep the AirPods back in their Charging Case to let them rest till you reach home.
You might not consider it urgent to seal the AirPods back in the Case after looking at the soft drizzling but you won’t even know when it begins to pour heavily and you might not get the chance then, to save the AirPods from the water.
4. Buy an AirPods Case that is Water-Resistant.
If you live in an area where the climate is usually wet and humid, invest in a AirPods Case which is water-resistant.
A good quality water-resistant AirPods Case will save your AirPods from the ‘water-accidents’ and will keep them safe for a really long time.
If you are always anxious about dropping your AirPods while wearing them, you must invest in an AirPods Case for sure. It will help you worry-no-more about dropping the AirPods accidently and damaging them.
5. Keep your AirPods Away from Drinks.
I’m sure you must not be using the AirPods when at a party because parties are meant to ‘disconnect’ from the stress and why attend calls while jamming hard !!
But imagine that you receive an important call and you struggle to make your way out. Just that moment, a pretty girl accidentally spills her wine over you and considers a ‘Sorry’ might suffice !! How helpless and painful that moment would be !!
So, take my advice and either avoid taking your AirPods partying with you or keep them safely inside the Case, that too inside your pocket.
6. Thoroughly Check the Pockets of your Clothes Before Giving into the Laundry.
No one knows this better than me !! I never showered with my AirPods, I never swam with them and neither did I rain-dance wearing them but still, they managed to wreck my nerves !!
I committed the ultimate crime of leaving them in my pockets and tossed the clothes in the washing machine for a good one-hour hot roll. Not only did I spend two whole days searching madly for them, considering them lost, I had to pay for my mistake by buying a new pair.
Therefore, it’s a worthwhile habit to check your clothes before tossing them into the washing machine. You won’t regret spending time doing this if you found your AirPods hiding in your pockets, ready to take a roll into the washer-drum.
7. Clean your AirPods After the Workout.
Oh, this is so important !! I have seen people wearing AirPods at the gym and their AirPods unfortunately dripping sweat from their surface. It is so unhealthy for the AirPods, you can’t even fathom !!
There is salt in our sweat. When the AirPods are drenched in sweat, they will dry out after the workout and the salt from the sweat will accumulate on the fragile speaker mesh of the earbuds. This will leave them blocked entirely, causing a muffled and crackling sound when you use them the next time.
If you don’t take the pains to clean them after your vigorous workout, soon they’ll stop working and will be damaged permanently.
So, the way you put on a fresh pair of clothes after a sweaty exercise session, make an endeavour to clean your AirPods too so that not a drop of sweat sustains on the AirPods and they are safe and sound.
8. To Keep the Water-Resistant Seals Intact, Never Let them be Crushed or Dropped.
The AirPods have these transparent seals near the speakers of the earpieces which resist water. It is an extremely essential part of the AirPods and saves them during a light water contact.
If AirPods have been dropped from a height, or fell down and accidently got crushed over, these water-resistant seals might get detached from the AirPods and break down.
So, when you go hiking, or are enjoying the beautiful morning view from the top floor, don’t even take chances of taking the AirPods out from their Case, for they might accidentally fall and get destroyed.
9. If There is Even a Tiny Bit of Make-Up, Lotion, Perfume, Sunscreen or any Such Substance on the AirPods, Remove Immediately.
As I explained above, no drop of water or sweat should be allowed to sit on the AirPods as it can block the AirPods’ speaker mesh and cause severe sound issues.
Same stands true for any lotion, perfume or sunscreen that you use. No matter how high-end your sunscreen or perfume is, be careful while you wear them because even a tiny bit of the creamy sunscreen or the perfume spray can potentially clog the earbuds
Remove the AirPods mindfully when you wear make-up or spray perfume because even small bits of make-up and the perfume sprays are dangerous for the delicate AirPods.
A Small Note:
All of the above mentioned reasons for avoiding AirPods during a shower and advice to use them carefully are based on my personal experience with the AirPods. The AirPods are super-cool and promise to walk with you everywhere you go, provided you carry them in the Case.
If you avoid wearing AirPods in times of any type of water-contact ; be it for a short while or a deep submerge, they can sustain life on them for a very long time because a water damage can actually leave the AirPods irreparable, making it the most dangerous damage of all.
So, follow the advice I have poured straight from my heart and you’ll never have to visit the Apple Store with a sullen face !!
Q1. Can Apple tell if there is water damage on the AirPods?
Answer – To detect if there is water damage on the AirPods, they must have the ‘liquid contact detector’ on them but unfortunately, the AirPods do not come with this bit of technology. So, it will not be possible for Apple to detect if there is any water damage on the AirPods or not.
Q2. Can I just replace one AirPod ?
Answer – Yes, it is possible to buy replacement for one of the AirPods ; either Left or Right. You can refer to Apple’s policy for replacing AirPods to know more about the fee of replacement. If your AirPods are covered under the AppleCare+ warranty, you can even get one of them replaced for free.
Q3. What do I do if my AirPods are washed ?
Answer – If your AirPods were left in the laundry, by mistake and are now washed, keep them out for drying immediately. Before you pick them up again, let them dry for at least 24 hours. If they still don’t work, try charging them for afew minutes and then, check if they respond. If there is zero response on the AirPods even after letting them dry for one complete day, contact Apple for assistance.
Q4. Why do my AirPods squeak ?
Answer – If you hear high-pitched squealing sound on your AirPods, turn ‘off’ Automatic Ear Detection and Noise Cancellation. If the AirPods still emit the squeaking loud sound, either reset your AirPods or contact Apple for the replacement of the earbuds.
Q5. Have my AirPods ruined after washing ?
Answer – Apple claims that these tiny Bluetooth devices, your Airpods are not waterproof. If you have them washed accidentally, there is a chance that they still have life left on them. Dry them out as much as possible. Before using them again, charge them for a while. If they do not respond, either reset them on your device or contact AppleCare+.
The AirPods bring a whole new world of music into your life but Yes, they do demand extra care and attention !! It looks cool to shower and swim with the AirPods but trust me, you’ll pay a price for each head you turn on the road.
In this article, I have seriously tried my best to explain and convince you to never – ever wear AirPods to a shower or expose them to water. Running on the treadmill while wearing the AirPods looks stylish only on the television, it isn’t an actual thing to do as it can cost you more than your yearly gym subscription.
As I always tip my readers that remember the 2C’s of the AirPods- ’Clean and Charge’. Now, make an addition to it and bear in mind the No-Water Contact Policy for the AirPods.
If used carefully and with the best level of precautions, the AirPods will never disappoint you and you’ll keep enjoying music on them for as long as you want. Take care and remember to shower with your partner, not the AirPods !!
As an engineering graduate (and a full-time layabout), I am always looking for smart technological innovations to make my life simpler and more automated so that I can be even lazier than usual.